News Center > Cold Weather is Major Factor in Increased Energy Usage
Cold Weather is Major Factor in Increased Energy Usage
Company reminds everyone to implement energy-saving tips to reduce usage and save money
NEW ORLEANS – As another Arctic blast grips the city, Entergy New Orleans reminds everyone to stay smart about gas and electricity usage while they’re staying warm.
Colder weather can drive up energy usage as heaters are working overtime to keep indoor temperatures comfortable. For example, during the first week of January, Midcontinent Independent System Operator South reported a peak demand for electricity usage that averaged nearly 25 percent higher than the same week last year. MISO manages power across the transmission grid and operates markets for the purchase and sale of wholesale energy and other products. Its market footprint stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Further, gas usage during this time rivaled that of early 2014, when the Polar Vortex swept throughout the country and brought extreme temperature lows.
“It’s been several years since we’ve seen these freezing and prolonged colder temperatures here in the city and its easy to become used to milder winters,” said Dennis Dawsey, Entergy’s vice president for customer service in Louisiana. “But while it’s tempting to crank up your heaters to combat these cold temps, it’s important to remember that heating and air conditioning usage make up more than half of your total energy bill. And while we’re used to extreme heat in the summer, we need to remember that extreme weather in any season is an important factor in determining how high or low your energy bills may be.”
Entergy offers energy-saving tips, as well as clear, do-it-yourself videos at entergy.com/savemoney to help you reduce usage and keep more cash in your wallet. In Orleans Parish, you can also visit Energy Smart, a New Orleans program that offers incentives and rebates on a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades year-round. And as the temperatures plunge again this weekend, keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home or business.
- Adjust the thermostat. Grab a sweater or blanket to stay warm, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill.
- Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
- Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.
- Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.
- Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
- Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
“While you can’t control the weather, you can take control of your bills by leveraging our payment programs,” Dawsey added. “Level Billing is a great way to help manage budgets. The program eliminates the spikes that extreme temperatures can bring and allows you to pay an average amount each month.”
Other payment options include:
- Pick-A-Date, which allows you to choose the date your bill is due.
- Automatic Monthly Payments, which saves you the trouble of writing and mailing checks or having to visit a payment center.
Entergy’s The Power to Care assists elderly and disabled customers with their bills and is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. To find out how to get assistance, or to contribute to the fund, visit entergyneworleans.com or check the donation box on your monthly bill.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 198,000 customers and natural gas to more than 106,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and nearly 13,000 employees.